Speaker Boehner’s plan that was earlier approved by the House was short-lived as Senate Democrats voted to kill it. And, one would think that after all the ideas and planning that had been laid out on the table something could be agreed upon. But in typical Washington cat and mouse games, it all will be decide on at the last minute. And Americans will be left wondering if they would have been better off if nothing was done at all. [Read more…] about Boehner Debt Plan Blocked by Senate Democrats
President Obama’s approval rating of 40% represents a new low. Mounting issues are plaguing him and his administration. Jobless claims continue to be high. The reported unemployment rating is still in the 9%+ range. Obamacare is still leaving a nasty taste in the mouths of many. And now the debt talks. [Read more…] about Obama at New Low; 40% Approval Rating
Former First Lady Betty Ford has passed away at age 93. She was married to former President Gerald Ford and was an outspoken advocate for women’s rights.
Betty Ford, may you rest in peace.
Over the past couple of months, maybe even over a year, things in Russia have certainly been interesting to try to follow. As in the United States, Russia will be facing presidential elections in 2012. But it seems that there may be a face-off with current President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for the top spot.
WallStreetJournal | Head to Head in Moscow Power Play
As much as anything can be sure in the world of Russian politics, there is no likelihood of Mr. Medvedev running off in open competition against Mr. Putin in next year’s presidential elections. The men are political intimates and have been for a decade. There is a bond of trust between them that would be remarkable in any country’s leading politicians.Another thing that is not changing is Mr. Putin’s seniority in the partnership, at least not immediately, and not to any degree that makes a jot of difference to the safety of foreign investments in Russia.
There is, probably, also no change in the relative realities of power and office in Russia. Mr. Putin, for the past four years, has not needed to be in the Kremlin to exercise effective supreme power. Whether, after 2012, Mr. Putin is in the Kremlin and Mr. Medvedev is in the White House, or the other way around, is of limited importance. They will continue to exercise real power.
The only change that one can be truly sure of is a generational one, and this will be a very gradual one.
Russian political cycles have tended to be longer than those in western Europe. Its transition from centrally-planned, autarkic and dysfunctional empire to a more pluralistic, modern and dynamic element of a multi-polar world is lasting decades.
Even if it has been inevitably buffeted by external events and retarded by misjudgments and creeping venality, that process is Mr. Putin’s life mission.
A United States F-15 Eagle crashed in Libya as coalition forces continued a third night of air strikes. It is being reported that the crew was recovered, without any injuries. But, that’s not the end of it.
The under reported part of this war, is just that. Is it war or is it not? That question remains unanswered, along with what the real mission is. Obama is still wishy-washhy on the subject.
But what about the cost? The initial blast of 114 Tomahawk Missiles cost a staggering $70M at $500,000 a piece. And with the crash of this F-15, it will add another $30M! Bringing the current cost to $100M! Would it not have been easier to just give Gaddafi the money to go away? After all, we don’t even know if all this effort will out him or not.
H?T to David Dayen @ FireDogLake
John Boehner has expressed the concern of most Americans to President Obama over involvement in Libya. And that is, “Define the mission.”
Politico reports Boehner as saying:
“The president is the commander-in-chief, but the administration has a responsibility to define for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is, better explain what America’s role is in achieving that mission, and make clear how it will be accomplished,” the Ohio Republican said in a statement. “Before any further military commitments are made, the administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission in Libya and how it will be achieved.”
With the approval from the United Nations, the coalition forces have begun their attack against Muammar al-Qaddafi and his forces. The United States is leading attacks as more than 100 Tomahawk missles were launched toward the shores of Libya, hitting more than 20 intended targets including surface-to-air missiles, early warning sites, and key communication modes.
President Obama authorized limited military action against Libya Saturday.
“We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy,” Obama said in a statement from Brazil.
The president also reiterated that the U.S. will not be deploying ground forces into Libya.
“What we are doing in necessary, it is legal, and it is right,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron. “I believe we should not stand aside while this dictator murders his own people.”
“It is now necessary to open the stores and arm all the masses with all types of weapons to defend the independence, unity and honor of Libya,” Qaddafi said in a speech broadcast on Libya state television, according to Reuters. He also warns that weapons depots are being opened to arm the Libyan people in defense.
Today, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed the bill stripping unions of collective bargaining.
The state Assembly passed the bill Thursday after the Senate approved it Wednesday without 14 AWOL Democrats. The vote in the Senate followed more than three weeks of dramatic protests that clogged the streets, hallways and meeting rooms of the Capitol.
Walker has notified public employee unions that he’s rescinding notices he sent last week that could have resulted in 1,500 layoffs. Walker said the layoffs would not be necessary since the bill, which includes $30 million in concessions from state employees, had passed.
After the Mega-Quake that hit Japan with a manitude of 8.9, the largest ever for Japan, aftershocks continue to be felt with reoprts ranging up to 30 plus. Also causing problems, in Northern Japan a nuclear power plant had an issue with one of the cooling systems that caused it to be shut down. The IAEA was quick to report that there were no leakage problems, and that the plant had many safety systems that functioned properly. And, along with that power plant, others have also shut down causing many to be without power. Reports are also filtering in of higher death tolls, with 51 confirmed and thousands feared.
Stay tuned for updates.
It is still early for possible Republican 2012 nominees, but they are not shaping up well for a Mitt Romney run.
One of the main issues that will plague him is his inability to connect with voters. It seems that every time Romney pops up, he is re-inventing himself. Seen as the business man during his 2008 run, he was viewed as the one who could really turn things around. A far cry from the jeans and tie-less image he is sporting now.
However, image tweaks are but only the beginning of some of the problems. As controversial as Obamacare is, Romneycare – Massachusetts health care plan – is not sitting well with conservatives and those members of the tea-party. As it continues to be a hot-button issue with both sides of the aisle, the heath care debate will stay and will be one of the things that will help decide the 2012 front-runners. And, his defense for Romneycare will certainly hinder his chances.
The other thing that will hurt Romney’s chances, the Southern state voters. While Romney doesn’t do all that bad polling wise, his ‘genuine’ factor comes into play when compared to other possible Republican options. With the likes of Huckabee and Christie, Romney will have his hands full fighting the image factor in the south. But, as he goes through his image reinvention, it will not sit well potential voters as they continue to view him as less genuine than other opponents.
Money, money, money. One thing his opponents would struggle with in comparison. Romney is personally very wealthy, and is already amounting a great deal of money to formulate another run to the White House. But, his money can also be seen as a problem. With all that money, he could be seen as buying his way in – a problem that Obama could also face as he is heavily funded by the likes of Global funding giant George Soros. And, with another round of recent donations by Romney to sitting members of Congress, it adds fuel to this question.
In the end, Romney feels that people want one thing: “People in America want to know who can get 15 million people back to work.”